The Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Michael Creed TD, in partnership with his colleagues the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD and Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe TD opened the Brexit Loan Scheme for applications on 28 March, 2018.Minister Creed stated that, “The Food Wise 2025 strategy outlines the agri-food sector’s unique and special position within the Irish economy and its potential for future growth. Brexit is obviously a significant challenge given our unique exposure to the UK market. Food businesses will need to focus on competitiveness and innovation in order to continue the growth in Irish agri-food exports, which reached a record €13.6 billion in 2017. I am pleased to launch this important Scheme today, for which my Department’s funding ensures that at least 40% of the €300 million will be available to food businesses.”
The €300 million Brexit Loan Scheme is designed to provide funding support to enable eligible Irish businesses to implement necessary changes to address the challenges posed by Brexit. The scheme will be available from 31st March 2018 and will remain open until 31st March 2020.
EligibilityTo be eligible, a business must meet the following criteria:
- Must be a viable business of fewer than 500 employees (i.e. SMEs or small mid-caps)
- Must be Brexit impacted (i.e. demonstrate that 15% of business turnover is exposed to potential negative impacts as a result of Brexit, whether through (a) imports from the UK, exports to the UK, or a combination of both, or (b) indirect exposure to the UK by transacting with an enterprise directly exposed to the UK).
- €25,000 to €1,500,000 per eligible enterprise
- Maximum interest rate of 4% (financial institutions can compete below this level)
- Term ranging from 1 year to 3 years
- Unsecured loans up to €500,000
- Optional interest-only repayments provided at the start of the loans
- Approval of all loans is contingent on meeting the credit assessment criteria of the finance provider
Loans can be used for
- Future working capital requirements.
- To fund innovation, change or adaptation of the business to mitigate the impact of Brexit.
Given its significant exposure to the UK market, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine contributed €9million, ensuring at least 40% of the fund will be available to food businesses. This is the only sector that has ring-fenced funding.
Further information is available: